Another weekend and another manager spitting their dummy out over a referee, as their respective sides fail to get the results they were hoping to achieve. Maybe the likes of Wenger and Ferguson would be wise to look at their own side’s failings, instead of searching for a scapegoat. United have lost three of their last five games – was it really the referee every time?
I know it is nothing new and managers are forever bemoaning officials for making mistakes, but what does it achieve? It always amuses me that the likes of Wenger will happily come out and criticise the wrongdoings against Arsenal, yet will never actually accept his own side’s fortune when he benefits from a bad decision. Ferguson likewise has a similar blind spot, but what are they hoping to achieve with their continued outbursts of foul play? Maybe Fergie believes that referees are conspiring against United, in light of the Wayne Rooney elbow furore last week, but his outbursts aren’t doing football any favours.
I am not going to stand here and preach that managers aren’t allowed to have a moan at officials, because as an ex-player I can understand their frustrations, but to put their dropped points down to them is an easy excuse in my book. I know they make mistakes and it would certainly be nice, not to mention help defuse potential ramifications, if the referees could explain the reasoning behind their decisions after the game, but they have no duty to so you have to accept it. You get good and bad decisions throughout a season and have to accept that the referees are only human, given that FIFA are unwilling to ensure their lives are made easier with the use of video technology. At the end of the day it wasn’t Martin Atkinson’s fault that United couldn’t turn their dominance into goals at Stamford Bridge, or Anthony Taylor’s problem that Arsenal once again failed to kill off their opposition despite the numerous chances that they created. Maybe Fergie and Wenger are simply attempting to take the heat off their underperforming stars, or perhaps their own masks are slipping as the pressure of the title race sets in.
Former Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham defender Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock is one of the great characters of English football. Razor has the same no-nonsense attitude off the pitch as he did on it.